Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, November 17th, 2018

Govt Fails to Establish Mobile Tax Monitoring System

Govt Fails to Establish Mobile Tax Monitoring System

KABUL - Private telecom companies have been accused of not doing enough to help government collect the tax but they say it is not their responsibility.
Three years after having imposed a 10 percent levy on telecom services, the National Unity Government (NUG) has still not managed to implement the Real Time System to monitor the collection of the taxes.
The NUG in 2015 imposed a new tax system on mobile phone users, whereby 10 percent of revenue generated has to be paid over to government.
According to the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MoCIT), in the last three years $11.8 billion USD has been generated from telecom taxes.
“The responsibility for the establishment of the Real Time System was given to a few government departments which faced some delays. But since the responsibility has been handed over to us, no problems have occurred” MoCI minister Shahzad GulAryoubi said.
However private telecommunication companies said government has failed to implement the system in three years, but that they rolled out their system in just 14 days.
They said government is refusing to use the system developed by a private company.
“We are ready to show the minister that this system works, and they can develop it further in the future if they want. But now it works,” Ali AskarZada, an official from Etisalat telecommunication company said.
TOLOnews’ findings show that billions of dollars have been collected in the last three years. But the only reporting system being used in the tax collection process is a paper based system.
In this system, the telecom companies prepare a four-page report every 15 days and report to government. Then a team from the Ministry of Finance, MoCIT, Ministry of Economy and the Afghanistan Telecom Regulatory Authority (ATRA) assess the reports and then collect the taxes.
Following sharp criticism about the lack of transparency around the tax collection system, former finance minister Eklil Ahmad Hakimi on Wednesday said in an interview with TOLO news the implementation of the Real Time System has been delayed because telecommunication companies have not done enough to help government.
“The telecom companies are the main obstacle for establishing a good system that enables us to collect every AFs of the tax,” Hakimi said.
The private companies now say that based on President Ashraf Ghani’s decree, telecom tax collection is the duty of government and that the relevant department should collect the taxes in whatever way they can. 
“I think the advisors of the officials do not feed them the correct information and the officials make decisions based on the wrong information,” Ali AskarZada, an official from Etisalat said.  (Tolo news)